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Whisky Hammer sells stake to Rare Whisky Holdings

Online auction site Whisky Hammer is ‘poised for global expansion’ after selling a 49% stake of its business in a multi-million-pound deal.

L-R: Brothers Craig and Daniel Milne set up Scottish online auction site Whisky Hammer in 2016

Hong Kong investment group Rare Whisky Holdings acquired the stake in Scottish family business Whisky Hammer and its sister retail business, Still Spirit.

Daniel Milne, managing director of Whisky Hammer and Still Spirit, said: “This is a very exciting time for our business. The transaction signifies an important bond with our new Asian partner that will rapidly bring the group to the next phase of growth, and we are incredibly excited about what lies ahead.

“In addition, we are delighted to have generated a substantial return for our crowdfunding investors that helped us build the business to where it is today.”

In 2019, Whisky Hammer set up a Crowdcube fundraising campaign, the proceeds of which contributed towards a new purpose-built facility in Aberdeenshire, which is also home to Still Spirit. The site includes a whisky shop, e-commerce site and dram bar offering over 100 rare whiskies.

Shareholders who backed the £200,000 (US$272,460) campaign will see a 2.6 times return on their original investment, the auction house said.

The multi-million-pound deal is a result of Rare Whisky Holdings recognising the ‘success’ and ‘vast potential’ of Whisky Hammer.

Rickesh Kishnani, co-founder of Rare Whisky Holdings, said: “Our investment group is proud to join the Milne family business and help with its expansion to Asia, where the demand for whisky continues to grow at a rapid pace.

“We are also excited to use this new partnership to provide Whisky Hammer and Still Spirit members with exclusive access to our collection of aged casks.”

Rare Whisky Holdings is the management group behind the Platinum Whisky Investment Fund, which is touted as the world’s first private equity whisky fund to focus on single malt whiskies.

Whisky Hammer, which saw a 70% growth in revenue in 2020, hosts monthly auctions dedicated to whisky, casks and other spirits. Past auctions have fetched in excess of £1 million (US$1.36m) under the hammer each month.

Last year, Whisky Hammer auctioned a 78 year-old Macallan, believed to be the oldest whisky launched by the distillery.

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